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Highly Sensitive People: What Is Your Right Livelihood?

Right livelihood is defined as a means of supporting one’s existence, especially financially or vocational, in a way that fits in with who you are and what you want to do in life. It’s important to note that your right livelihood may change as you go through life. Your focus might be to be a good student, parent, caretaker, or any of several different positions and jobs.

Some thoughts and suggestions include:

  • Highly sensitive people can’t be in an environment where they feel uncomfortable or is a place that is anxiety ridden. A quiet environment is ideal.
  • Helping careers such as counselors, coaches, teachers, social workers, nurses, event planners, companions, members of the clergy, information specialists such as librarians, volunteer work, virtual assistants, and tutors. They also do well as message therapists and other body workers.
  • Solo project work: Programmers, writers, accountants, efficiency experts, statisticians, lawyers, researchers, and graphic artists. Highly sensitive people tend to do better on their own rather than when many team meetings are required.
  • When in-depth analysis is important, but the analysis needn’t be done quickly, for example, in evaluating stocks, race horses, research data, office dynamics, or market trends might be for you. Highly sensitive people make a useful counterbalance to a decision-making team filled with quick and impulsive thinkers.
  • Do you like to work with animals and plants? Perhaps you can be a veterinarian. Maybe pet grooming, pet sitting or walker might be for you. Being a florist might satisfy your creative urges.
  • Self-employment is my right livelihood. I knew at a young age that I would have to create my own environment in making a living. Working for someone else wasn’t an option for me. Owning a business allows you to control your environment and create a flexible schedule so they can take unscheduled breaks as needed. This is extremely important for highly sensitive people, regardless of what you do.
    • Benefits of self-employment: You have flexibility in schedule and environment. You have unlimited income. You don’t have to deal in office politics. You can do work that is meaningful to you. You can conduct business in a way that you’re uncomfortable with. You don’t have to deal with ethics challenges.
    • Downside of self-employment: It can be a lonely existence. You take all the risk. You must be self-motivated. You have to be able to ride out the highs and lows. You can’t be easily discouraged. You might not get the feedback that you desire.
  • If self-employment isn’t for you, try to get in a position where you have a lot of independence and flexibility.
  • Any career in which much of the work can be done from home.
  • Other artistic careers include: architect, bakers, photographer, singer, sculptor, or artists, etc.

Can you think of any other careers for highly sensitive people? I’m interested in any thoughts or comments that you have.

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This Post Has 2 Comments

  1. Melissa Dawn Rowell

    I have depression and anxiety along with being HSP. I’m so screwed up I don’t work and have no livelihood. It’s a struggle. I wish I could find something I could do to help support myself.

  2. Cliff Harwin

    Hi Melissa,

    Make a list of your strengths, accomplishments, and interests. How can you use this list to help others? This will give you clues on a way to support yourself.

    Don’t underestimate yourself! I’m sure that you have many good qualities. Again, make the list and refer to it often. Another thought is to go to your local library to get free resources for employment and groups that can help you with anxiety and depression.

    You don’t have to go through this difficult time alone. Seek the help you need. Don’t give up!

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